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White House Told: Congress Must Authorize Any Military Action in Yemen, Syria

April 12, 2017 (EIRNS)—Fifty-five Members of the House have sent a bipartisan letter to President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, demanding that the President seek authorization from Congress before any military escalation in Yemen.

Addressing the report that administration officials are proposing that the United States participate in attacking Yemen’s major port, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) warned that any such attack "could push the country into full-blown famine." This letter, he said,

"is a first step in reasserting our Constitutional check on presidential powers. I am committed to pursuing all tools at our disposal to ensure President Trump abides by our Constitution before possibly plunging our country into another senseless conflict.... President Trump does not have the authority to send U.S. forces to battle the Houthis in Yemen, period."

A similar sentiment was expressed in the Senate yesterday, when Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced the Military Humanitarian Operations Act, which would require congressional approval before any military operations were conducted to fulfill a humanitarian purpose. Lee pointed out that President Trump and other administration officials may be contemplating other attacks in Syria in retaliation for other attacks on civilians or for broader humanitarian purposes.

"While such operations and interventions are well intentioned," Sen. Lee said,

"recent history has shown they are often risky and may result in unintended consequences that are detrimental to our national security... They should only be undertaken after serious consideration and approval by the elected representatives of the American people, ensuring that public accountability on war-making decisions exists,"

The Salt Lake Tribune reported.